Fuzz Acid & Flowers:
Curt Boettcher was a prodigious talent (sadly he died in 1987 at age 43) whose studio wizardry produced sounds and arrangements way ahead of any at the time and The Millennium album was the culmination of this period. He'd started out with the folk group The Goldebriars (two albums on Epic in 1964) then formed a vocal duo, Summer's Children, before getting into production which included The Association's first LP And Then Along Comes and their million-selling Along Comes Mary 45. From then till Millennium he was involved in a plethora of groups and studio projects:- Ballroom (with Sandy Salisbury and Lee Mallory), Your Gang and Friar Tuck (both with Mike Deasy), culminating in Sagittarius (with Gary Usher) which put out a lot of unreleased Ballroom material. In the seventies Curt would issue a solo LP and form California but it's for his creative outburst in the mid-late sixties and those heavenly multi-layered vocal arrangements that he will be remembered. Millennium then, were put together as a vehicle for Boettcher's ideas with the intention to weld Fennelly and Stec's rock background with the avant garde pop of Mallory and Salisbury. Boettcher was to 'Lead the way'... and there was a kind of evangelical fervour about it, best heard on their first single It's You. Goldenrod who are thought to have acted as a backing group to Lee Mallory, formed the basis of the remaining personnel, originally becoming involved as part of the "Our Productions" house band led by Mike Deasy.
Boettcher wrote almost half of the tracks on their pleasant pop/rock album, with Jerry Scheff from Goldenrod contributing Dandelion to their repertoire.
Boettcher wrote almost half of the tracks on their pleasant pop/rock album, Salisbury, Fennelly, and Mallory providing most of the remainder, with Jerry Scheff from Goldenrod contributing Dandelion (not on the album) to their repertoire. The album took a year to record and was only the second album ever done on 16-track (Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends being the first). Columbia Engineer Roy Halee had pioneered the technique by jerryrigging two eight-track recorders with a third machine feeding the two.
Stylistically, the album is in the mould of Sagittarius, with the standout cut being the astonishing Karmic Dream Sequence #1. A true voyage into the infinite and six of the most magical minutes that Sixties music has to offer. Group member Sandy Salisbury describes the song: "This piece still evokes everything I felt in those days, from ecstacy to amazement to downright fear. Though I never used drugs, I always felt somehow out of touch when I heard this song - still do. The only explanation for that feeling is that Karmic Dream Sequence somehow tells me that Life is far, far deeper and more fascinating than my limited human mind can comprehend - it makes me want to explore, to experience, to feel, no matter how scary it gets".
When it looked like Millennium might become a full-time band, the Goldenrod members departed due to session commitments, and Edgar, Rhodes and Keith Olsen all previously with The Music Machine came into the frame. The Music Machine personnel had early ties with Curt Boettcher as Edgar had been the Goldebriars drummer, Olsen an old friend of Boettcher had played with Gale Garnett and Jimmie Rodgers, and briefly with The Wayfarers, at whose club in Charleston the Goldebriars often played. Olsen also married Goldebriar' Sheri Holmberg, whilst Sean Bonniwell was the Goldebriars tour manager, and migrated to LA with them adopting their all-in-black, dyed black beatlecut look lock, stock, and barrel for The Music Machine.
Though Millennium never toured, 'The Lee Mallory Group', which consisted basically of Goldenrod, Mallory, Salisbury, Rhodes, Fennelly and Stec debuted much of the Begin material at the Pasadena Icehouse on a couple of occasions in late 1967, as a dry run for the projected live Millennium shows.
After being dropped by Columbia, The Millennium stayed together as a songwriting/production team, with Boettcher, Olsen, Salisbury, and Mallory joining the relaunched Sagittarius.
The protracted sessions for Sagittarius' Blue Marble in fact included sessions for a solo album by Salisbury and various other projects which were recorded back to back, including tracks for "Midnight Cowboy" written by Millennium members (primarily Stec and Salisbury) and Harry Nilsson, which were scrapped when their publisher fell out with the film producers (an album by 'The Groop' Sing Songs From Midnight Cowboy includes covers of the songs). Nilsson of course sang Fred Neils Everybody's Talking as the theme, because Neil ironically refused to speed the song up.
Another project concurrent with Sagittarius' Blue Marble was an attempt to launch another offshoot named, "Big Shot" fronted by Fennelly and including former Goldebriar guitarist Murray Planta. This petered out fairly quickly.. Stec took up an offer from old friends The Blues Magoos to join full time. He later worked as a writer with Steven Stills/CSNY, and made a solo album with Jimmy Miller. Fennelly started Crabby Appleton, signing to Elektra and enjoying some success. He also later made a solo LP, Lane Changer, which was produced by Rod Argent and Chris White. Salisbury was a jobbing arranger before becoming a best selling childrens author.
As an aside readers might note that Mike Deasy of Your Gang recorded the creepy live tapes of Charles Manson at Spahn Ranch which did the rounds in Hollywood and cut a couple of studio sessions too. Oddly, the Millennium guys were part of Frank Zappa's clique rather than the folkrock crowd. ~ (Vernon Joynson / Max Waller / Joe Foster / Lloyd Peasley)
"Prelude" (Ron Edgar, Doug Rhodes) – 1:18
"To Claudia On Thursday" (Michael Fennelly, Joey Stec) – 3:26
"I Just Want To Be Your Friend" (Curt Boettcher) – 2:34
"5 A.M." (Sandy Salisbury) – 2:48
"I'm With You" (Lee Mallory) – 2:35
"The Island" (Boettcher) – 3:18
"Sing To Me" (Mallory) – 2:15
"It's You" (Fennelly, Stec) – 3:21
"Some Sunny Day" (Mallory) – 3:22
"It Won't Always Be The Same" (Fennelly, Stec) – 2:57
"The Know It All" (Boettcher) – 2:40
"Karmic Dream Sequence #1" (Boettcher, Mallory) – 5:58
"There Is Nothing More To Say" (Boettcher, Fennelly, Mallory) – 2:23
"Anthem (Begin)" (Boettcher, Mallory) – 2:39
15. Just About The Same 2:21
16. Blight 3:02
bonus: 17. It's You (Mono Single Version) 3:13
18. I Just Want To Be Your Friend (Mono Single Version) 2:35
19. 5 A.M. (Mono Single Version) 2:44
20. Prelude (Mono Single Version) 1:18
21. It Won't Always Be The Same (Mono Single Version) 3:00
22. To Claudia On Thusday (Mono Single Version) 3:09
23. There Is Nothing More To Say (Mono Single Version) 2:25
Curt Boettcher – vocals, guitar
Ron Edgar – drums, vocals
Michael Fennelly – guitar, vocals
Lee Mallory – vocals
Doug Rhodes – horn, keyboards, vocals
Sandy Salisbury – guitar, vocals
Patrick Shanahan – drums
Joey Stec – guitar
Red Rhodes - pedal steel guitar
Doug Dillard – banjo
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